Paul Krechel’s introduction to the processing industry was unplanned. He worked in the power transmission industry prior to becoming an international sales manager and market manager for Deville Technologies. But when he met a leader at Deville and learned how the processing industry could further his career development, foreign language and international business experience, and mechanical and sales knowledge, Krechel was sold. Today, he travels to various international locations to meet and conduct trials within the customer facilities for Deville, and he enjoys that no two days are the same.
How have your roles evolved since you came to Deville?
When I began my career at Deville, I was one of two people working in our U.S. office. I was tasked with developing our market share in the protein industry throughout North America. Within a year, my role further developed into handling the dairy industry in the Midwest as well as our international footprint outside of Europe. I was promoted in January 2019 to the role of international sales manager for dairy and senior market manager for protein.
Does your company go the extra mile to support you as an emerging leader?
Though Deville has seen rapid growth, I feel the values have not changed. The growth of the industries that I develop are largely planned and executed by myself. I am fortunate to work in a company that supports independent leadership. Management has been a resource and sees their goal as coaching, which I thrive on. The support I receive has always pushed me to gain more education and diversified experience within our industry. A unique benefit is that in the past, I did not have a role which required public speaking. Deville has pushed me to become an expert in the markets I oversee, which has provided me with the opportunity to offer technical presentations at tradeshows, conventions, universities, and industry organizations.
What do you love most about the work you do?
Both the company I work for, and the industry I work in, allow me to interact with people of cultures from all over the world. Due to my role, my life is full of 180-degree turns. I can leave Wisconsin on a Monday and have visited customers in three separate countries before being home for the weekend. I am also very fortunate to work for a diverse international organization. With offices in the U.S., Canada, and Belgium, each day offers a new challenge of communication and cultural understanding.
How do you help your company stay on the leading edge of innovation?
A significant share of my role at Deville is to develop new and innovative products for our customers. R&D is a significant aspect of the service employees at Deville offer clients. I have had the pleasure of developing new systems with both my internal team and clients. Traditionally, Deville’s products have been manufactured for the meat and dairy industries. After significant research and testing with our partners, we have found a niche in the greater protein and pet food industry. This has allowed Deville to become the R&D leg for many companies in the protein sector.
As an emerging leader, what were some obstacles you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
Millennials are not always seen in a positive light. I found that once Deville and clients understood my commitment and interest in working to provide a solution, the trust was easily gained. The obstacle of being young in this industry was quickly overcome by providing my hands-on experience.
What are some industry trends you’ve been eyeing?
Specific to the solutions we provide, I am constantly following how companies can produce more sanitary, simplified and safe work environments. I also am intrigued by the new and innovative protein alternatives being developed. Each offers its unique challenges with regards to cutting and reduction.
What does winning this award mean to you?
I am humbled by both Deville and the industry for considering me for this award. I truly enjoy my work and the career path it offers. I work with, and have met, a lot of interesting and intelligent people who have had a lasting impact on my career journey. I hope to inspire more individuals to get involved in all aspects of the food industry.
As a rising star at your organization, what is next for you?
In 2020, I will be taking on the challenge of the Latin American and Asian markets. I am excited to continue developing my Spanish speaking skills as well as learning new languages. I also intend to develop my role in industry organizations to better understand the challenges in our industry.